Saturday, March 10, 2018

because i need yet ANOTHER obsession

joining month long challenges on social media is always a mixed bag. because on the one hand, it takes up quite a bit of time. on the other hand, you get A LOT of practice at a new technique. in this case, birgit koopsen (one of the all-time QUEENS of gel printing, imo) announced that she'd be hostessing an even called "fall in love with your gelli plate" just after i found out i'd be teaching a class that features (very limited) gel printing techniques. so this seemed like the PERFECT time to focus on gelli. here's what i've made so far:

day 1: circles
ok, so, there is no way i can actually print with (and clean up after) my gelli plate every single day. so for some days i'm using older prints in (hopefully) interesting ways. like collage, which is always my comfort zone, lol. for this one, all the prints are leftovers from two weeks ago, when i was making samples for my upcoming "mixed media mandala" class. i punched circles out of a print i didn't love and placed them inside squares of a different print i didn't love. and then layered them over the reverse of a deli paper print i only loved portions of. 

day 2: peek through
both of these prints are from a gelli play date with stephanie last summer. the bricks are on deli paper, in which i've torn a sort of jagged hole. the print beneath is gold and white heavy body acrylic paint on navy cardstock. there's LOADS of stitching holding the two together. not because it needed loads, i just got a little carried away at the sewing machine...

day 3: stencils
in this case, rather than stencils, i've mostly used masks, but the concept and procedure is the same. i really like this one b/c it was made ON THE DAY, in the midst of a gelli marathon with my friend anna, AND i have not done anything to the original print! because part of what i want to do this month is work at composing on the plate, so to speak, so that my prints are more intentional, and can potentially stand alone.

day 4: texture
i nearly used this one for the "stencil" prompt, it was made on the same day, and it looked pretty good as is (see below) but i had used a compound, taped-together set of book pages and a postcard (also below) so it had a bit of texture already. then i "stamped" on the full-sized  blue gelliprint base with the small round gel plate which gave it a bit more texure. mostly, though, i was DYING to outline the butterfly and make it stand out more, so i sewed around with the machine. and then yeah... i added a little bit of modelling paste all over the butterfly's body to make it even more textural. i think, technically, this is cheating, but i don't care, lol!

day 5: crayon resist
i really love the concept of this technique. but so far, my results have been underwhelming. basically you color with crayon wherever you don't want the paint to stick (see "before" pic below). then you pull your print on top, like usual. after the paint dries, you scrape it off and have the contrast of your crayon design showing through. except... you need to really color HARD and get a thick coating of wax. and you need to scrape off with a metal palette knife, very patiently. and it helps to thin out the paint with water. and... well, as i said, my results on this one so far have not been stellar. but i'll try again, at some point! 

day 6: flower
total cheater day, because i just did not have time to make and clean up the fresh-print paint mess. so i took a previously made, blue and purple print that i didn't love on its own, and made it into flower petals. on top of a stencil-cleaning-off page of notebook paper. ta-daaaaa.

day 7: threads
in retrospect, having seen the gallery on instagram, i realize that what we were SUPPOSED to do was use bits of thread or yarn as a mask on our plate, then pull prints with the cool undulating thread shapes on them. instead, for some reason, my brain said, "make plaid!" so i did. using multiple pulls and cardstock masks. and then i typed and sewed on top. sometimes it's really tiring to be me, lol.
(ps: there's a flipagram showing all the steps of this on my IG account.)

day 8: silhouette
on the other hand, this day i not only understood the brief, i was able to do it successfully AND i love the results! which is pretty much the trifecta of gelliprinting right there! i used the first handcut stencil and mask i ever made (the buddha) plus some storebought stencils in the background, and a little acrylic heart shape as a secondary mask. i this case i not only like the "real" print, i also like the "cleanup" print (below, left) and the "ghost" on which i cleaned off my stencils, brayer and masks (below, right).

i hope you are having the best weekend EVER!
(and that you'll find time to do something fun and creative, just for yourself!)


  1. I have no idea what gelli plate crafting is, not sure I need another I am loving what you are showing here Lauren. I really enjoy they way you assemble your pieces.

  2. These are great, Lauren. I've been avoiding buying a Gelli plate because I don't want become addicted! I'm sure I'll cave eventually, Jo x

  3. I'm also avoiding the Gelli plate. I love all your projects!! but if prodded to pick I'm really fond of Day 3 Stencils and Day 6 Flower.


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